Simulation Applications in Medicine

Lestle SotoUS_Life-Expectancy_maps

In our PLTW class every two weeks we get in a group and start a new module. This process is awesome because it allows for growth and it lets us try a new thing every two weeks and explore our points of interest. Every module relates to the pathways our school has, media tech, biomedical, and engineering. All of our pathways reach out to all different types of people, chances are you’ll find something you enjoy in one of these or multiple of these pathways.

The latest module I did was a module with my partner in the biomedical field. That module was simulation applications in medicine. At first I didn’t really show much interest in this field, because usually things having to do with medicine freak me out. But when I really started exploring this field I found it quite interesting.

For challenge one of this module I had to watch a video relating to future medicine and simulations and how the FDA is reacting to it. In the video what really motivated the FDA to explore simulations more thoroughly is the precision and accuracy that comes along with simulations. Most man made machines and innovations can’t do what computer software can, and bioengineers are just now realizing that. Through the simulations it has been helping them refine their ideas a lot faster and reduce the cost of testing and prototyping, which adds up very quickly.

The simulations are also very precise in measuring and comparing geometric designs, implant sizes, and next generation designs. It’s tough making a medical device that fulfills everyone’s needs, the simulations are the closest bioengineers have come to doing that thus far. A result of the precise simulations lately is that they have been getting tons of submissions for new medical devices. I don’t believe simulations will be the only way we test medical devices and procedures. I just think it will probably be one of the more efficient, accurate, and faster ways. Technology and innovations advance severely at an increasing rate, new ideas are sought everyday. I just hope as technology advances medicine innovations will be in a big way a part of that.

For challenge two of this module my partner and I had to pick a simulation to explore that had to do with future medicine and life sciences. My partner and I picked life expectancy in the U.S. population. The purpose of our simulation was to look at the increasing and decreasing life expectancy rates for the U.S. population. By looking at that we got a better feel of what to expect in the future for certain groups of people and their death rates in certain times and places. We could also be preventing deaths and stopping them and getting the right medicines for cardiovascular disease since that is a huge cause of death. We should also keep track of our humanity’s iron intake.

By doing this project we found some statistics for women. The average life expectancy for females in the United States, is 81.17. That statistic is almost 6 years longer than the average for men, go women! At age 80 women have a 60% survival rate. The state with the highest life expectancy rate for women is Hawaii, that statistic is 84.83. The state with the lowest rate for women is West Virginia (78.09).

We also found some statistics for men. The average life expectancy for males in the United States is 75.96.That’s almost 6 years less than the average women survival rate. At age 80 men have a 45% survival rate. The state with the highest life expectancy for men is Minnesota with an average of 78.32. The state with the lowest life expectancy for men is Mississippi with an average of 71.26.

For this module we also looked at statistics for female races. The race with the highest life expectancy overall for women is the Asian American race (89.67). The race with the lowest life expectancy for women is the African American race (77.57). Then we found statistics for male races, the race with the highest life expectancy for men is the Asian American race (84.56). The race with the lowest life expectancy is the African American race (70.68).

The last thing we did for this module was predict future life expectancy for females and males. I predict that females will ultimately live the rest of their lives longer than men. The reason most researchers say women live longer than men is because they develop cardiovascular disease, like heart attack and stroke later than men. Women develop these problems usually in their 70s and 80s, usually 10 years later than men, who develop them in their 50s and 60s. Iron is the main reason men develop diseases earlier than women, their iron intake is extremely high. If this rate continues then women are bound to live longer. I also predict that there will be many  technological advances for future medicine.

My partner and I also predicted that males will not live as long as females because it is scientifically proven that men develop health problems about 10 years before women. As I was researching I found out that, “For every 1,000 men who have cardiovascular problems between the age of 55 and 65, there are only 25 women in the same situation,” says Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse in the British Heart Foundation. So according to the research I have done I predict that men will not live as long as women because of these health problems that men will develop over the years.

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